Need me some writin' samples.
April 11, 2007 8:36 AM   Subscribe

I need two writing samples for a job interview today but I only have one.

The interview is at 4 EST and I found out about it at 11. They requested that I bring along 2 writing samples. I have a business letter sample (a recommendation I wrote for a colleague's grad school application) that I'm comfortable submitting. However, I just moved and I don't have anything else. I have no college writing on this computer and everything else is in transit. I realize now that I should have just said all of this on the phone but such is life; I don't think calling back and explaining now will come across very well.

I did write jacket copy for a few published books, but it's very niche writing and I'd have to buy the books this afternoon. Should I purchase the books or just generate an entirely new paper on... something... this morning?

The position is a new one at an Internet start-up-ish company. The samples they requested are supposed to demonstrate "outstanding communication skills".
posted by juliplease to Work & Money (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'd use the jacket copy, if it's good. Jacket copy is all about communication and drawing in the customer.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:39 AM on April 11, 2007

Is this for a writing job, or for a primarily non-writing job that includes some writing?

For a writing job, or even a management position, they're going to want to see something rather more substantial than a letter and some book jackets, I'm afraid.
posted by kindall at 8:39 AM on April 11, 2007

Response by poster: It's not a writing job. It's semi-marketing and the rest is office support. The office is very (very) small and I think they need someone not on the tech side to take care of everything else.
posted by juliplease at 8:41 AM on April 11, 2007

Write a letter explaining how you don't have two samples, then use the letter as your second sample. Internet startups love that kind of thing.
posted by DU at 8:42 AM on April 11, 2007 [2 favorites]

Quick, write a review of the last movie you saw.

Or, quick, write instructions for cooking an omelette. Or changing the oil on your car. Or setting up Firefox extensions and a list of your 10 favorites.
posted by frogan at 8:44 AM on April 11, 2007

Write something tailored to the situation -- A few paragraphs about your field or industry, an essay on your background and experience, a brief opinion piece on something relevant. They just want to see if you can actually write, and something you generate today could show that you work well when time is short, and that you can turn in good writing without laborious editing and massaging.
posted by wryly at 8:46 AM on April 11, 2007

It's not a writing job. It's semi-marketing and the rest is office support.

Then you should be fine with the book jackets, probably... still, the longer the pieces you can come up with, the better, because it will show you can organize ideas and sustain reader interest over a number of pages.
posted by kindall at 8:52 AM on April 11, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I am going to go start writing now. DU, I love your topic suggestion.
posted by juliplease at 9:01 AM on April 11, 2007

You can go on Amazon book search and print out the jacket copy from a number of books and present it as one sample.
posted by kensanway at 9:10 AM on April 11, 2007

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